Texting, social media could be beneficial to family relationships: study
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em: A new study says families could benefit from having multiple means of communication as their children leave home. (Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com)
Published Tuesday, October 28, 2014 10:20AM EDT
When children leave the nest to start their own lives, being able to contact mom and dad using a variety of digital means -- including text messaging and Facebook -- could be beneficial to their relationship, according to researchers from the University of Kansas.
"A lot of parents might resist new technologies. They don't see the point in them, or they seem like a lot of trouble," says doctoral student Jennifer Schon. "But this study shows while it might take some work and learning, it would be worth it in the end if you are trying to have a good relationship with your adult child."
In the study, 367 young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 filled out a survey about what means of communication they used to keep in touch, how often they communicated and how satisfied they were in their relationships with their parents.
They reported using a variety of communication methods with their parents, including Snapchat, online gaming networks, video calls, instant messaging and texting as well as the tried-and-true landline phones and cell phones.
On average, participants reported using three means of communication, and Schon's research suggests relationship satisfaction increases modestly for each method used.
"So, if you are only using one or two technologies to communicate, adding a third might hit the sweet spot for relationship satisfaction," says Schon.
According to Schon, good communications are an indicator of the quality of a parent-child relationship and parents who communicate effectively already might not benefit as much from adding another tool.
The paper was published in the journal Emerging Adulthood.